Caterham reserve driver Alexander Rossi will get his first taste of the team’s 2013 Formula 1 challenger when he takes to the wheel in Friday’s first practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.
The American was expected to drive the car on Friday morning in Bahrain, but a combination of Heikki Kovalainen returning to the team in a reserve role and Rossi getting a drive for the team’s GP2 outfit meant it didn’t happen.
“Obviously the weekends that I’m not doing GP2 I’ll be looking to be drive the F1 car in Friday practice sessions and that will start in Montreal,” he told ESPN.
“Beyond that I’ll be doing at least one more, and possibly others, but it’s hard to say exactly what will happen because in F1 you never know for certain until you’re in the car. Whatever happens, the more time you can spend in an F1 car the better.”
The 21-year-old, who finished third in the Formula Renault 3.5 series in 2011, impressed many in the paddock by finishing on the GP2 podium in Bahrain despite having missed the opening round as well as not completing any pre-season testing.
He got his head around the new style of Pirelli tyres quickly, managing them to perfection to finish third at Sakhir, and now he has set his sights on winning the title.
Rossi added: “I don’t see any reason why we can’t have a run at the championship this year and that’s what I’ve got to target. I’ve only scored points in one of the opening four races but I’m still seventh in the championship. There are still 18 races left so it’s a long season.”
Caterham will bring a big update package to the Spanish Grand Prix as they battle to wrestle 10th place in the constructors’ championship off rivals Marussia who have had the upper hand so far this season.
The team tried 35% of the update on Charles Pic’s car in Bahrain and it demonstrated a big improvement. Pic finished 17th, ahead of Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez, both Marussias and his team mate Giedo van der Garde.
In the past, the team have brought big updates to Spain, but significant gains have failed to materialise. Friday will prove vital as the team focus on getting an understanding of the rest of their update package ahead of qualifying.